PhD in Energy Management Modeling – Antwerp, Belgium

Posted 6 months ago


​imec is the world-leading research and innovation hub in nanoelectronics and digital technologies. The combination of our widely acclaimed leadership in microchip technology and profound software and ICT expertise is what makes us unique. By leveraging our world-class infrastructure and local and global ecosystem of partners across a multitude of industries, we create groundbreaking innovation in application domains such as healthcare, smart cities and mobility, logistics and manufacturing, and energy.

As a trusted partner for companies, start-ups and universities we bring together close to 3,500 brilliant minds from over 70 nationalities. Imec is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium and also has distributed R&D groups at a number of Flemish universities, in the Netherlands, Taiwan, USA, China, and offices in India and Japan. All of these particular traits make imec to be a top-class employer.

University of Antwerp – imec IDLab research group

The Internet & Data Lab (IDLab) is an imec research group at the University of Antwerp and Ghent University. IDLab focuses its research on internet technologies and data science. IDLab is a joint research initiative between Ghent University and the University of Antwerp. Bringing together 300 internet experts, we develop technologies outperforming current solutions for communication subsystems, high speed and low power networking, distributed computing and multimedia processing, machine learning, artificial intelligence and web semantics. Within Antwerp, where you will work, the overall IDLab research areas are machine learning and wireless networking. IDLab has a unique research infrastructure used in numerous national and international collaborations.

Vrije Universiteit Brussel – Brubotics research group

BruBotics is the Brussels Human Robotics Research Center of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. In strong interdisciplinary teams we strive together to enable the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs) through Human Robotics. BruBotics uniquely combines expertise on robotics, AI, rehabilitation sciences, movement sciences, social sciences, retail marketing, ageing and eHealth and is as such one of the only truly interdisciplinary robotics research centers in Europe. Our research focus is mostly energy efficient, safe control of collaborative robots as exoskeletons, prostheses, cobots, social robots and drones.

Imec, IDLab and Brubotics collaborate with many universities and research centres worldwide and jointly develop advanced technologies with industry (i.e., R&D centers from international companies, Flanders’ top innovating large companies and SMEs, as well as numerous ambitious startups).

We are searching for a group of PhD students working on energy management modelling for applications in IoT and mobile robotics as a joint project between imec, UAntwerp-IDLab and VUB-Brubotics.

Research topic

We have several positions in the field of Energy Management Systems. IoT devices and untethered robots (drones, UGVs, wearable robots) have important limitations on energy availability. The aim of the research work is to develop an energy management system to optimize the energy consumption of a system. For this purpose, existing models of energy providers (e.g., batteries, solar panels, etc.) and consumers (e.g., actuators, sensors, processing and communication modules) will be evaluated and combined. This proof of concept will be validated in relevant use cases. For example, a low-power (or even battery-less) IoT sensor should adapt the timing of its measurement and communication tasks based on its current and future available energy, as well as the priority and urgency of the respective tasks. The mission of a drone, or use of certain sensors can be optimized in order to optimize battery life.

The overall objective of the PhD project is to develop more energy- and resource efficient systems.

The job

  • You will conduct high quality research in a joint PhD between imec UAntwerp-IDLab (Prof. Jeroen Famaey and Prof. Maarten Weyn) and imec-VUB Brubotics (Prof. Bram Vanderborght).
  • You will closely collaborate with other researchers in the team and imec research groups.
  • You will develop optimizing algorithms for energy management and implement models of energy suppliers and energy consumers and develop proof of concepts for IoT use cases on the one hand, and mobile robotics use cases on the other hand.
  • You will write detailed technical evaluation reports on the developed solutions, implementation, and experiments, leading to publications in major conferences and journals in the field of Energy management, sustainable IoT and robotics.
  • You will assist in teaching lab sessions of relevant courses at bachelor or master level (at most 10% of your responsibilities).

Job requirements

  • You have (or will soon obtain) a Masters of Science degree, preferably in electronic/electrical/control/robotics engineering, computer science, or equivalent.
  • You can demonstrate excellent study results (minimum distinction and preferably great distinction)
  • You have a profound knowledge of control engineering, optimization, modeling, and interest in IoT and/or robotic systems.
  • You have strong programming skills in C/C++. Knowledge of Python and/or Matlab is a plus.
  • You are a team player and have strong communication skills.
  • You have a high proficiency in oral and written English.

More information about the job: Prof. Jeroen Famaey – and Prof. Bram Vanderborght –
HR-related questions: Michelle Nietvelt –

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